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Published On: Fri, Jan 12th, 2018

Unconventional topics to study

Every now and then, we can come across topics that make us wonder if what we just read was real. A great, if controversial comedian, one made an excellent point about the way that our scientific minds study in the world. The Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle, once referenced the madness of the world of study: “Rather than cure cancer, we’d rather run a study to find out how many fruit pastilles it takes to choke a kestrel!”

It’s true, too: look around enough and you can find some CRAZY stuff that is being studied and looked into across the globe. For a flavor of just how mad we can be as a species, here are some of the things that we have found that people have actually taken the time, resources and intellect required to study.

public domain pic from May 4 1916

The length of time urination takes

According to a study carried out in the PNAS journal, we now know it takes 21 seconds to go for a successful urination process. Apparently, they found out this information by, uh, watching animals relieve themselves when they were in a zoo. That has to be up there with one of the most comical, outrageous things we have ever seen studied – but there it is.

Apparently, someone thought it was worth discovering how long it takes ourselves and the animal kingdom to empty our bladder, give or take some time.

Hilariously, there is a margin of error of a whopping 13 seconds attached to this!

Where bee stings hurt most

Nobody likes being stung – it’s quite sore, and it kills off the poor bee that you annoyed enough to eventually prick you in the first place. One legendary scientist, though, decided to go through a Waylon Smithers experience, and get stung 25 times to see where hurt the most. Apparently, the nostril, the upper lip, and the penis (!!!!) were the most painful.

Sometimes, you wonder how these people manage to pass this kind of thing off to their research team. It’s like those weird articles you read in newspapers, and wonder how any (sane or sober) editor signed it off…. but at least now we know. Don’t charge at bee hives with your clothes off.

The effect of singing to plants

Plants might seem like a boring subject to study, but you can always get creative. For example, researchers discovered that singing to our plants is supposed to have a positive effect on them! So far, mainly classical music has been used in these studies. So wouldn’t it be time to see if plants react better to Justin Bieber or to the Rolling Stones? While we don’t quite know why it works yet, we know it works – and that, my friends, has enough at this rather wonderful moment.

So let’s get out there and do some really cool research – who knows, you might get nominated for an Ig Nobel Prize one day!

Author: Amanda Ohls

Amber is a writer from Tampa, Florida. In her spare time she enjoys walking on the beach and fishing.

photo Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel via Flickr

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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